This is always my favorite holiday. I love the traditions, the food, using my grandmother's platter, remembering other years and other people--and not having to buy gifts. Some years we have a large group around our table, sometimes it is smaller. Today we will be only 9, but one is 2 week old Margaret, and I am so grateful to be here for her first Thanksgiving (actually, for her first holiday, period).
As I think about all I have be be grateful for, I think always of you all. I am so very blessed to be part of this incredible group of women who share themselves so honestly, freely, and lovingly with each other. On Monday, at the weekly meeting of my group for women with advanced breast cancer, Lynne shared the sad news that she has decided to stop treatment and transition to hospice care. Clearly, this was both very sad and very scary for everyone in the room, and I was, as always, so very proud and respectful of the response. Each woman was able to express both feelings and to speak authentically about her own situation, her own fears, the amazing grace of being together on this unwanted journey. If you are at all inclined to the spiritual, it is fair to say that God was with us in that space. And we were with each other in the most profound and wonderful way.
How lucky I have been to, so far anyway, stay well. How much I wish the same for you and thank you for being with me and with each other. Our dinner will begin with our traditional family toast: "To the family: a few of whom are here, some of whom can no longer be here, most of whom are yet to come. To the family". And to yours.
And to the practical, take care of your leftovers:
Leftover Turkey to the Fridge, Stat
By Nancy Walsh, Staff Writer, MedPage Today Reviewed by November 23, 2011
As we enjoy our most food-oriented holiday tomorrow, nutritionists and food safety experts recommend that particular care be taken to ensure that leftovers -- whether kept for later meals or dispatched home with guests -- don't become a catalyst for the pain, vomiting, and diarrhea that afflicts some 400,000 Americans annually on Thanksgiving.
The horrifying foodborne illnesses that struck Europe in the spring of 2011 served as a reminder that even the most "healthy" foods can sicken and potentially be lethal. In Europe, the culprit ultimately was identified as bean sprouts.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has offered a simple formula "2 hours -- 2 inches -- 4 days" for ensuring Thanksgiving food safety:
Two hours: You may be tempted to stay at the table chatting and digesting, but all leftovers need to be in the refrigerator within two hours. Two inches: Don't overload food containers. Fill them only to a depth of two inches, which will allow rapid chilling of the contents.
Four days: Eat refrigerated leftovers within three to four days, or freeze if keeping longer.